Coming from a background as a project manager in commercial construction, the IT industry was an exciting prospect for Neil Dwight, group operations director at Business Technology Group (BTG).
“It was 2000 and the differences between these industries were quite stark," he relates.
"In construction, you have a lot of oversight, a lot of controls and statutory requirements, and science that doesn’t change.
"Compare that with the tech industry where there is so much that changes all the time, with little to no statutory or regulatory oversight."
BTG was started during the end of the dotcom period – and, of course, the industry went decidedly pear-shaped just a year later.
“There were definitely some lean years, but we were and are commercially conservative and soldiered through it. And we’re still here,” he chuckles.
For Dwight, the excitement of the technology industry and BTG’s position within it has to be tempered with sound business practices.
“A lot of start-ups fail not because there’s any problem with their ideas or even how they add value, but instead, there are shortcomings with their business and administrative stuff, like planning, contracts, paying taxes and processes.
"We’re specialists in helping other companies deploy solutions to manage process, so it’s always been a keen internal focus for us,” he says.
Describing BTG as a ‘technology service provider’, he stresses the company’s commitment to offering a stronger engineering rather than sales-led approach.
“Our clients pay for the things we get done, so we have all the staff we need to do the work under one roof. We don’t contract out as we prefer to have full control and accountability of the value-adding process and that translates to better quality.”
While making money and ensuring sustainability is an obvious requirement for any company to stay in business, Dwight says the greater purpose at BTG is to enjoy doing it.
“We have families who depend on the success of our business, so this is a major driver behind keeping it running well.
"We choose who we employ and work with very carefully as we have a culture where people want to come to work; there has to be an element of fun – while work is work, you do want to make it as good as you can.”
A personal philosophy that runs strongly through the company is that everyone who deals with BTG should have a good experience.
“That doesn’t just mean our clients or suppliers. Even if we don’t end up working with you, you should come away having had a decent interaction,” says Dwight; another philosophy which BTG considers essential is fairness in remuneration. “We believe in a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work.”
In a highly competitive environment, focus is what wins the day, Dwight continues. “You need to pick your opportunities and make the most of them. We play to our strengths rather than trying to do everything.”
And finally, he believes the definition of success is to be found in achieving great outcomes for clients while maintaining ongoing relationships with those clients.
“This is common whether you’re making buildings or delivering technology solutions,” Dwight notes, “The rest flows from that.”
With the work day done, his three children, ranging in age from 5 to 11, take up a lot of his time. “Sport, a bit of fishing and enjoying the great outdoors New Zealand has to offer,”
Dwight confirms, “NZ is a gem. If you live here, you need to get out and enjoy it, whether it be Auckland Beaches, the Waitemata harbour, Rotorua for mountain biking, – the opportunities are immense and there’s not much you can’t access with just a day’s travel to enjoy with your family,” he concludes.
Vist Neil Dwight's Linked In profile here.